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The deadly duos

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No matter what you say, the best thing about football has always been goals. One of the best things about the beautiful game is the euphoria that the fans feel when their teams score a goal or the despair that the opposing fans feel when they concede. And thus, having a world-class striker is a must for every team. However, even better is having two such players form a devastating duo that bamboozles the opposition with their speed, trickery, skill and divine shooting ability.

And in the history of football, we have seen some of the best strike partnerships that have gone and achieved legendary status. These duos formed the bedrock of some of the greatest teams in the history of football. 

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 strike partnerships of all time in football.

Andriy Shevchenko and Filippo Inzaghi-AC Milan

From the 1990s to the early 2000s, AC Milan had a star-studded squad that would thrash teams in its way. And in the early 2000s, they formed one of the deadliest partnerships when Ukranian star Andriy Shevchenko joined the club and formed a strike partnership with the brilliant Filippo Inzaghi. 

Together Shevchenko and Inzaghi would win the 2002-03 UEFA Champions League, 2002-03 Coppa Italia, 2004 Supercoppa Italiana, 2003-04 Serie A, and the 2003 UEFA Super Cup.

Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo- Manchester United 

Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United had several brilliant attackers, and Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo could qualify as one of the best of the lot. Rooney and Ronaldo played for five years and, in that time, formed one of the best strike partnerships of all time. 

During their time at the club, Rooney and Ronaldo scored 209 goals and provided 108 assists and helped Manchester United win three Premier League titles, two Football League Cups, one UEFA Champions League, one FIFA Club World Cup, one FA Cup, and one Community Shield.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez- Barcelona 

One of the modern time best strike partnerships in football, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez took the art of goals scoring to a different level altogether. Suarez made the switch to the Catalan in 2014 and, over the next six years, would form a deadly duo with Messi.

In the next six years, the duo scored 475 goals and provided 257 assists. This helped Barcelona win four La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey, two Supercopa de Espana, one Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.

Raul and Fernando Morientes- Real Madrid

Fernando Morientes is a classic example of a player who may not be flashy but was hugely effective. After joining from Real Zaragoza, the Spaniard formed a devastating strike partnership with Real Madrid legend Raul. Real Madrid went on a winning spree with the duo, adding several trophies to their cabinets.

Real Madrid won two La Liga, three UEFA Champions League, two Intercontinental Cups and one Supercopa de Espana during that time. Morientes would leave the club in 2004, while Raul would depart nine years later.

Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush- Liverpool

Perhaps the most extraordinary strike partnership in English league football history. Liverpool experienced immense success in the 80s, and it was all down to their brilliant team that was spearheaded by two legendary players, Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish. 

Dalglish and Rush, who hailed from Scotland and Wales, respectively, won an impressive 20 titles within six years. During this time, they scored 335 goals helping Liverpool win four league titles, two European Cups, two FA Cups, four League Cups, three FA Charity Shields and one Football League Super Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema- Real Madrid 

When Barcelona had the duo of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, their El Clasico rivals Real Madrid had Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. The pair were an integral part of the team that won two La Liga, two Copa del Rey, two Supecopa de Espana, four UEFA Champions League, two UEFA Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups.

During their nine-year stint at the club, the duo scored an impressive 708 goals and provided 182 assists helping Real Madrid reconquer their crown in Spain and Europe.

Theirry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp- Arsenal 

The duo that helped Arsenal become the Invincibles. When Henry joined Arsenal in 1999, he had the perfect strike partner in Dennis Begkamop, the elegant Dutchman. The duo spent seven years together at the club and, in that period, won two Premier League titles (including 2003–03 Invincible seasons), two FA Cups, and two Community Shields.

During that time, the duo would combine for more than 200 goals as they spearheaded what most believe to be the most incredible team ever in English league history.

Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole- Manchester United 

From Arsenal, we go to their rivals Manchester United who feature for the second time on the list courtesy of Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. The duo only played for four years but, during that time, formed one of the best strike partnerships in football. In their very first season, they combined for a total of 53 goals helping Manchester United win the treble.

The duo eventually helped the club win four Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one UEFA Champions League, and one Intercontinental Cup.

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Pele and Garrincha- Brazil 

Taking into account flamboyance and graceful, no duo in the history of football would come even close to the magical strike partnership of Pele and Garrincha. Looking beyond goals, the duo were responsible for making Brazil into the footballing powerhouse that they are today.

While Pele starred for the Selecao in the 1958 World Cup, scoring six goals, he was injured in the opening match of the 1962 edition. It appeared all hope was lost, but Garrincha took over, scoring four goals to help Brazil become the second team ever to defend their World Cup title.

Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas- Real Madrid

Real Madrid won the first five European Cups held between 1956-60, a feat that remains unprecedented in the competition’s history. And one of the critical reasons for their brilliant record during that time was the incredible strike duo of Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas.

The duo won four La Liga titles, three European Cups, one Copa del Generalísimo and one Intercontinental Cup. During their six-year partnership, Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas scored 360 goals in 433 games which shows how deadly they were.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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